Geneva - Serious human rights violations have soared
dramatically in Syria in recent weeks, the head of a UN commission
tasked with probing the abuses said on Monday.
of human rights have grown in number, in pace and in scale," Paulo
Sergio Pinheiro, a top UN investigator told diplomats gathered in
"The frequency with which these egregious violations
occur outstrips the commission's ability to investigate them," he said,
lamenting that "civilians, many of them children, are bearing the brunt
of the spiralling violence".
Speaking during the 21st session of
the UN's Human Rights Council, he presented an updated version of the
CoI's report last month, which charged that Syrian President Bashar
Assad's regime, and the opposition to a lesser extent, had committed war
crimes during the 18-month crisis.
Since that report, the situation has gotten even worse, he said.
human rights situation in the Syrian Arab Republic has deteriorated to
such a degree that it is difficult to describe," he said.
toll from spiralling conflict has risen to more than 27 000 people,
according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which relies on
activist accounts from the ground. The United Nations puts the toll at
Rebel fighters were not spared in the probe, which also
found them guilty of war crimes, including murder, extrajudicial
execution and torture.
After Pinheiro's presentation, Faysal
Khabbaz Hamouia, a representative of the Syrian government, slammed the
report as inaccurate.
"Syria calls on all who support the
bloodshed of its people ... to stop doing so," he said, charging that
the international community was stoking the flames of the conflict,
while 17 countries were sending "jihadist terrorists" to fight for the
"fragmentation of the Middle East into Islamic emirates".